The next day was class, Suzanne Gordon encouraged us to tell our nursing stories. She said that while nursing believes that the public trusts we do not believe that they know what we do. Nor do they know what value we bring because the billing system is set up to hide our value. She said that we can change this by telling our stories, and I believe that this is true.
Here is mine:
"I work with a team of specially trained nurses who provides forensic nursing care to victims of violence. We provide care 24 hours a day 7 days a week within the emergency departments at Franciscan Alliance - Indianapolis. Our medical forensic exam includes a forensic history, so that we can address any injuries or potential sexually transmitted disease issue, and create a safety plan for the patient when she leaves. We collected samples, potentially for evidence, on all patients, even those who do not want to go to the police which leaves the patient in control of the situation longer. We know from the Adverse Childhood Experiences study that our care makes a difference in quality of life, amount care that may be needed in the future, even longevity of life."
II am sure it can be "tightened up" but it is a start!
The afternoon was spent learning how to talk to the media, again how to tell our stories and make forensic nursing shine!
Some alarming/interesting facts were:
- 90% of all data in the world has been generated in the lst 2 year
- The average american consumes 12 hours /day outside of work
- 28% of workers time is spent dealing with emails
- Typical internet user is exposed to 1707 banner ads
- The average internet user used touches his /her smart 2617x/day, heaviest 5427x/day
- 6 in 10 Americans get their news from Social Media, most get their news on one site only and Facebook is #1
WOW, this was amazing stuff. Clearly we need to be smart about where our facts come from, (reminds me of Evidence Based Practice so this should be easy for us!), that we should know our media out lets and incorporate a variety of "fact" sources. This consumption of media though, is obviously an opportunity for us to have a stronger voice as Forensic Nurses!
That evening we attempted to dine a a place called Filomena, without success. We took the Metro to Georgetown, or the closest stop and walked a ways. Georgetown is always interesting and we moseyed around after our unsuccessful attempt at Filomenas, We we stoked up for Italian though and ended up at another place, Cathy was pretty happy with her Seafood Pasta dish, it was rolling in Lobster, but my Mushroom ravioli, though beautifully prepared, were missing something, Thyme I think. Regardless, while we were there it began raining which inspired to to try Uber. Both us were Uber virgins and this was an adventure, and boy was it! Our driver was ( to quote my mother) different sort of girl. Sort of an adult modern day Pippi Longstocking who was willing to bare her soul to a car full of 2 forensic nurses and 22 oriental non English speaking folks. I would have LOVED to know that was going though our companions minds. Well maybe not. We arrived safely though, and she helped me make a decision about cooking classes in Paris, she is a chef in her day job. High on our "Uber"" success I attempted to make reservations for the morning to go to the Hill. However it still had not been picked up in the morning and we had to ask for help. We ddid get a ride, which we shared with a nurse from Pennsylvania, so we had an interesting discussion about her practice, moving form one state to another and her business.
Once there IAFN Lobbyist Patric Cooney presented Washington 101 ( my title). Which prepared us some to go forth and conquer. We had an 11:30 appointment with Senator Donnelly's aid, Nicola Bunick. Where we laid out our agenda of Support for reauthorizing the Violence against Women's Act, The Nursing Workforce and Development Programs, and urging our congress to address the ongoing epidemic of college campus sexual assault. Meetings were quick, She was attentive.
From there we hoofed it to the other side of the Capitol, to meet with Trey Hollingsworth. Actually we did get to meet with him, but briefly he left us in the capable hands of his aid as well. He was personable and interested, the only one of the bunch we actually got to meet in person. We dined in the Longworth building, not nutritionally uplifting. It was an environment of chaos. I would be skinny if I worked there.
Lastly we hiked back to the other side of the capitol ( It would have been a bit more comfortable if we could have been hiking in more casual attire, the shoes, the shoes.....) to the Senate side, to meet with Dr Young's aid. On the way to the Senate side, we ran into Kathy Secula taking a break and we had the opportunity to chat with her.
Cathy and I, both felt that the time spent was worth it, that we learned a huge amount about how our government works and that we do have a voice and need to use it. We hope to return to the Hill nest year ( we agreed to start saving our pennies) and accompany more Forensic Nurse Hoosiers to the IAFN Lobby Day on the Hill.